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VOL. 16

MONDAY JULY 19, 1850!

California Newsletter What’s The Rush? By: Molly Lento

California Gold Rush On January 24, 1848 a man named James Marshall was working on a sawmill on the American River in Northern California, when he saw gold in the river. Once he found the gold rumors spread about gold to other places in the world. Later in 1848, president James K. Polk notified congress about the gold in California, and gold fever broke out in the nation The miners often lived lonely existences as many of them have left their homes and families to strike it rich and are now living in a new territory.

boarding house would be 25 cents before the gold but after it has soared up to 43 dollars.

During the early days of mining, the simple tools one needed were a pick, pan and shovel. Gold wasn’t that hard to find. It was found in stream beds, it could be harvested by picking around with a knife and dug out with a spoon. A miner could earn 16 dollars a say by mining an ounce of gold. After this the prices of things had increased a breakfast at a

Zachary Taylor

Zachary Taylor was born on November 24, 1784 in Barboursville, Virginia. Taylor was the 12th president of the United States. He was ranked a Major general. His years of service were from 1808 to 1849. His religion was Episcopal. Zachary has left behind his seven children. He is resting in Zachary Taylor National Cemetery Louisville, Kentucky. Zachary Taylor passed away on July 9 of this year 1850. Man panning for gold to earn a living.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR My Name is Luke, I recently moved to California to work and mine gold. I am just a boy but work is very important at my age. I mine for gold from eight o’clock in the morning to four o’clock in the evening. I like in a small canvas tent with my fathers friend. I have been living in California for 26 days

and I hope to find enough gold to cash in for important needs for survival. I think the Gold Rush is a huge step in the future and the economy. It is providing jobs for homeless or poor. Mining has become something more in these few years. Sincerely, Luke


VOL. 16

MONDAY JULY 19, 1850!

ADVICE COLUMN Hello my name is Eldora, and I currently live in San Pedro, CA with my birthmother Mrs. Ramos. My mother has just discovered me and asked If I would live with her and leave my foster parents Mr. and Mrs. Holt. My mother is a very busy woman with many responsibilities and is always away from home. I have become lonely and

Dear Eldora, I have read your letter for advice and thought this over and I think that you should talk to your mother and ask her if she can’t clear her schedule for quality time that she hasn’t had the chance the past years then there is no reason for you to stay. If your friends and foster family which has been more of a family to you than your birth mother has you should return home to be with the people who spend time with you. Though you may miss your mother she hasn’t made an effort to catch up and create a family with you. Hope this helps, Molly lento

unhappy along with that I just found out that my friend from home has been murdered. This boy is a friend and former student, his name is Miguel. I wonder if I should stay here with my mother or return back to New England? I do not know if I made the wrong decision in the first place. Please respond yours truly, TRAVELERS AND THEIR VOYAGES

Thousands who heard about the Gold Rush made the voyage driven by dreams of wealth. The people who left for California contributed to the greatest mass migration in American History.

Many travelers traveled by sea to reach California. The most popular land route was the Oregon Trail. The amount of people caused traffic, the grass supply needed for animals was soon exhausted and water holes along the way became infected with disease. Many immigrants knew nothing about traveling over the mountains and plains. The guides were scarce and many newspapers and guide books were misleading. Along the trails graves were marked of those who succumbed to the diseases like mountain

fever. The area of California has been a wild frontier during this time. San Francisco has grown from a small settlement of about 200 people to a about 360,000. People came in hope of seeking fortune for their families. Some came alone and others brought their families along the voyage to new land and new beginnings.

DISAPPOINTMENT Mining gold is not a dream come true for everyone, a few years after the initial strike the gold that was easy to find was already mined. It has become more difficult to find the gold and more difficult for a miner to realizer dreams of wealth. Large companis have become to dominate the gold-mining they hire miners for wages.


Lexicon Organizer Word & Page  #

Part of Speech (noun, verb,  adj)


Sentence from book/article

Relevance or importance  to topic/time period.

Use the  word  in  a new  sentence. (your  own!)

adobe pg.  104


a kind  of  clay used  as  a building  material

“a small  adobe    that  looked so  real  you  could  almost smell  the  food  cooking  over the  open  fire  he  had  drawn in  front  of  the  house”.

Materials that were  used  to  build houses

She owned  a  small adobe  house  on  the corner.

archived from instagrok


a collections  of historical documents  or records  providing information  about a  place.

The Gold  Rush  era  also produced  many  stories  and letters  to  loved  ones,  some  of which  are  currently  archived  in museums  and  collections

Travelers kept diaries  and  journals

Mary had  a  shelf  of archived  leather  books

chamber pot pg.  5


a bowl  kept  in  a bedroom  used  as a  toilet

“A chamber  pot  is  stored under  the  bed”.

They didn't  have running  water  back then  so  there  were no  toilets.

I emptied  the  chamber pot  every  day  at  night.

chignon pg.36


a knot  or  coil  of hair  arranged  on the  back  on  a woman's  head

“was gathered  in  a  chignon and  held  in  a  net  of  black silk’.

A fancy  word  for  a bun.  Women  kept their  hair  in chignons.

My hair  is  always  in  a chignon.

Lexicon Organizer embroidering pg.121


decorate by sewing  patterns on  with  thread

“I am  still  embroidering  the pillow  cover  that  I  began with  Aunt  before  we  left New  Bidford”.

Done for  designs and  hand  making pillows

She was  embroidering my  bedspread

excursions pg. 124


a short  journey  or trip

“When they  set  out  on  such excursions  I  am  sometimes uneasy”.

When they traveled  by  foot carriage  horse  or ship

I came  back  from  my excursion  on  time.

Heyday from Instagrok


a period  of  a persons  or  things greatest

The heyday  of  the  gold  rush was  over

Gold Rush  was When  the  Gold  Rushes popular  then heyday  was  over  Jane simmered  down moved  away once  it  was  common

fisticuffs pg.  72


fighting with  the fists

“Were shouting  and  yelling  and  close  to

Fights with punching  were called  fisticuffs.

As I  walked  downtown I  saw  two  boys  who had  gotten  into  a fisticuff

getting into  fisticuffs”.

kits pg.  45


a set  of  articles or  equipment needed  for  a specific  purpose

“Houses assembled  from  kits are  not  uncommon”.

Many houses  were made  from  wood  or you  lived  in  a  tent

My neighbors  house was  assembled  from kits.

lye  pg.  71


a strongly alkaline  solution

“Then someone  said  that  if Jennie  was  right  and  that the  lye  would  not  harm  the gold  the  way  it  does  to  other

They had  to  have solutions  that  could be  solved  with limited  supplies.

I thought  my  mothers lye  would  work  .

Lexicon Organizer metals”. ought pg.34


used to  indicate duty  or correctness

“tell him  he  ought  to  make the  voyage  employed  as  a cabin  boy’.

They used  this word  commonly years  ago.

You ought  to  clean  your room.

silken pg.  41


made of  silk

“in another  moment  my mother  opened  her  silken pocket  and  extracted  a small  object”.

Lots of  clothes  back then  were  made from  silk.

My mother  had  many silken  clothes.

skillets pg.  82


a frying  pan

Where the  latter  method  is employed  miners  use pans,which  are  utensils shaped  rather  like  skillets.

Skillets were  used to  find  gold

Tom used  a  skillet  to find  16  dollars  of  gold.

spry pg.  75



Mr Higgins  is  older  than  pa but  more  spry”.

A common  word back  then.

I am  more  spry  than  my brother.

saloons pg.  92


A public  room  or building  used  for a  specific  purpose

“The hotels  first  floor  is mostly  a  saloon  and gambling  hall”.

Used for  gatherings

He entered  the  saloon with  grace.

taffeta pg.  36


a fine  lustrous  silk or  similar synthetic  fabric with  a  crisp texture

“and wore  a  taffeta  dress with  wide  sleeves  and  a hoop  skirt”.

Back then  if  your dress  was  nice  it was  usually  made of  taffeta

My new  skirt  is  made of  taffeta.

Lexicon Organizer strife pg.  96


anger or  bitter disagreement over  fundamental issues  ;conflict

“They reminded  him  that  the diggings  were  known  for what  they  called  “endless, bitter,  dangerous  strife.

Another word  for being  mad  over something

Marcus and  Liam strived  over  whether they  should  have strawberries  or blueberries.

thrashed pg. 34


beat repeatedly and  violently  by a  stick  or  whip

“The same  is  true  with Tommy  Fielding  and  how severely  he  was  thrashed by  his  father  for  not  telling the  truth  concerning  a  small matter’.

If you  didn’t  behave back  then  this  was your  consequence.

I saw  the  scars  from when  he  was  thrashed.

opium pg.  86


a reddish-brown heavy-scented addictive prepared  from the  juice  of  opium poppy,  used  as  a narcotic  and  in medicine  as analgesic.

“Papa never  took  opium before  and  he  believes  it worked  more  than  whisky would  have  done”.

Used like  advil  for pain

The opium  let  him  rest without  pain

foolscap pg.  104


a size  of  paper

“That was  when  Miguel leaned  over  and  with  a pencil,  he  had  with  him  and a  sheet  of  the  foolscap….

A word  for  paper in  1851

He handed  me  a  sheet of  foolscap

proprietor pg.


the owner  of  a

“The sun  set  soon  afterward

Another word  for

The proprietor  of  Office

Lexicon Organizer 116

queried pg.  78



and we  stopped  at  a  small inn  where  the  proprietor knew  my  mother  and welcomed  her”.


Depot is  very  kind.

a question  one addressed  to  an official  or  an organization

“I queried  being  surprised  at his  question”.

Common today  and back  then  very formal

I queried  because  he hadn’t  made  clear  of  his question.

Molly L.  

California Newsletter

Molly L.  

California Newsletter